Skilled Persons See Relative Declines in Number But Big Jumps in Cost
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently released data on the number of skilled persons reports, section 166s, required in the fourth quarter of its 2014/2015 year, ending on March 31, 2015. The FCA ordered 15 skilled persons reports during the fourth quarter, with eight related to personal investment followed by four related to consumer credit. The fourth quarter numbers bring the total number of section 166s up to 54 reports, two more than the 2013/2014 year.
Although skilled persons reports crept up year-over-year, they are still down considerably from record highs set by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Prior to the transition to the FCA, the FSA saw several years where skilled persons reports were up over 100 reports per year. Last year, Martin Wheatley, Chief Executive of the FCA, said the agency did not plan to “significantly increase” reports required under section 166 (of the Financial Services and Markets Act). While, the number of skilled persons reports may be on the decline, the cost of these reports is certainly not. Last year the cost of these reports jumped more than 900 percent from prior years to an average of £2.9 million per internal review.